Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, September 16, 2019

Small business program on the chopping block

Their View

By By Cora Fox, Center for Rural Affairs | Aug 21, 2018

Illinois’ locally-owned businesses are the jewels that make rural communities shine. The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, a farm bill program, helps these small business owners obtain resources resources and training they need.

This program offers access to loan capital through grants to organizations that provide training, technical assistance, or small loans to rural businesses. Since its creation in 2008, this funding has helped 2,100 entrepreneurs create jobs and expand consumer access to goods and services in rural areas.

On Sept. 30, this funding for small businesses will expire if we do not take action. Both the House and Senate versions of the 2018 farm bill have placed the program on the chopping block; however, there is still time to save it.

Grantees of the program are asking for a $3 million annual appropriation in mandatory funding, a small fraction of the $867 billion price tag for farm bill spending over the next 10 years.

As a member of the farm bill conference committee, Rep. Davis (R-IL) must protect this program on behalf of Illinois’ rural businesses, which play a crucial role in the state’s economy.

Small town main streets are depending on Rep. Davis. The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program creates jobs, economic opportunity, and most importantly, invests in the people of rural Illinois.

Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.

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U.S. Representative Rodney L. Davis (IL - 13)

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